Hackers who are believed to hail from Russia have leaked their fourth batch of medical data stolen from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The best-known victim in the Fancy Bears’ latest info dump is Spanish tennis champion Rafael Nadal, though Britain’s Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah also had his data exposed.
Two of Nadal’s confidential Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) were dropped online. They were dated 2009 and 2012. TUEs are permissions that allow the use of banned substances where a medical condition requires it. WADA puts athletes through an approval process before any TUEs are approved. Mo Farah also had two TUE files leaked, dated 2008 and 2014.
The tennis world has long feared a doping scandal since it emerged a number of tour players had used banned substances in recent years. Infamously, Maria Sharapova was handed a two-year ban from the sport for taking meldonium. Wimbledon champion Andy Murray has called for a crackdown on doping, saying Sharapova had no valid excuse to be using the drug.
Farah was caught up in a doping scandal when his former coach, Alberto Salazar, was alleged to have broken anti-doping rules. Farah had previously worked with another coach, Jama Aden, who was arrested on doping charges. The 10,000m and 5,000m Olympic champion has denied ever breaking doping rules.
Other sports stars included in today’s leak were USA Olympic gymnastics gold medallist Laurie Hernandez and British rower Helen Glover, another Olympic champion.
Previously, cyclists Sir Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, as well as the Williams sisters, had their TUE files leaked. On Friday, the third dump dropped, with another 11 athletes affected.
In recognizing and condemning the latter breach, WADA also struck out at any questioning of the use of TUEs. “It is very unfortunate that athletes’ TUEs are being debated publicly on the basis of partial, confidential, medical information. Athletes should not be required to publicly justify their TUEs. The program is a rigorous and necessary part of elite sport; and, it has overwhelming acceptance from athletes, physicians and all anti-doping stakeholders,” it wrote in a statement. It is yet to respond to the latest leak.
Whilst Russia was blamed by WADA for the hacks, allegedly in response for WADA outing Russian doping, it has vehemently denied any involvement.
The Fancy Bears hacking team, which has a name almost identical to a group linked with the breach of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), has repeatedly failed to respond to FORBES requests for comment.
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